Everybody was making jokes at the Panthers' expense last summer. There were the Dale Tallon jokes, with the Florida GM filling out the roster with great speed, and sizeable contracts. As free agency opened, the league looked on in awe as Florida announced signing after signing. There was the roster, filled with players that most hockey fans across the league were ready to dismiss as a laughable collection of misfits who didn't seem to fit in anywhere else. By the time training camp opened, half the roster had been turned over, and the team was being led by a first-year NHL coach.
Most people thought the Panthers would be lucky if they could claw themselves a few spots h...
You are 18-years-old. You have just completed the best hockey season of your entire life – racing up draft boards from a low-mid round pick into a projected mid first round pick. It is an incredibly exciting night, as you sit there with your family waiting and hoping to hear your name called.
You watch as commissioner Gary Bettman announces the Islanders trading down 2 picks. Then trading down 2 more picks. The Islanders staff takes the stage ready to announce their ninth overall pick, and you are still not thinking too much of it.